Lighting Retrofits

A hallway with new lights in the AHI building

Starting in 2013, Facilities Management is beginning the process of retrofitting lighting across the Welland Campus and the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus. Niagara College utilizes a wide range of lighting including: Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL), T8 and T5 Fluorescent Tubes, a variety of Light Emitting Diode (LED) and more.

A retrofit is referred to the addition, elimination or change to an existing technology to reflect current, more up to date, state-of-the-art and efficient practices. Switching out some of the older lighting to LED lighting or another less energy intense lighting system could see significant electricity savings.

Some of the ways Niagara College is moving towards our 10 percent reduction of electricity consumption includes:

  • Retrofitting lighting in various areas around the campus
  • Integrating the lighting systems into the building automation system, which will allow more control on how lighting is utilized through remote computer programming
  • Capitalize on any remaining incentive programs from the local utility companies, and
  • Engaging students, and employees about sustainability on campus, and the importance of meeting our electricity target

Current Retrofit Projects

  • Currently, the Embedded Energy Manager is assessing the retrofitting of the parking lot lighting at the campuses. This is a large scale project, and will take some time to be implemented
  • All of the lighting in the Hamilton Room at the Welland Campus has been retrofitted to LED lighting. The Hamilton Room is now S 160 and S 150.
  • The Broadcasting, Radio, Television and Film Department’s (BRTF) Radio Room in the Voyager,Wing has undergone LED Retrofits.

Why Are These Projects Important?

The electricity used in an entire life time of a CFL bulb can cost from 5 to 10 times the amount of the original bulb. CFL’s are standard light bulbs that are common in lamps, ceiling fans and other appliances. CFL bulbs are miniature fluorescent tubes, typical to the ones found in the hallway lighting at Niagara College.

Retrofitting CFL lights to LED, have significant benefits, as LED bulbs are more energy efficient, meaning they use less electricity than CFL, to produce the same amount of light output. Lighting output, or lumens, is a measure of the total amount of visible light being emitted from the source. Depending on the type of lighting that is being used, the amount of lumens can range.


Type Application Lumens Lumens/Watt
32 Watt T5 or T8 Fluorescent Bulb Commercial, Institutional 1600 50
10 Watt LED Bulb Commercial, Institutional, Residential, Others 1000 100

As shown above, the LED bulb is able to provide more lumens per watt of electricity, and can last twice as long as the Fluorescent bulbs. In addition to being more efficient and long lasting, LED lighting has proven to be more durable, cooler (meaning there is not as much heat build up while operating), mercury free, and cost effective.

LED Lights are “Cooler”

Typical incandescent bulbs contribute to to heat build up in a room, as they emit quite a bit of heat while operating in comparison to an LED bulb. The Embedded Energy Manager decided to put this information to a test, by using Thermal Imaging Equipment to make some comparisons between some of the lighting at the college. The following photos support LED bulbs being cooler.

Temperature image of halogen filament bulb

This first photo was taken in the BRTF Radio Room, which is an MR16 Light Bulb (Multifaceted Reflector Bulb), which is a halogen filament bulb. As you can see, the centre of the coloured ring is the bulb, looking up from the ground. This bulb in particular was emitting a temperature of 151 Degrees Celsius from the centre (white), with the outer rings decreasing to 36 Degrees Celsius (Blue).

Temperature image of LED bulb

In comparison, this second photo is showing an MR16 LED bulb in the BRFT Radio Room, emitting a significantly less amount of heat than the first bulb. The highest temperature captured by the Thermal Imaging Equipment was 67 Degrees Celsius.